Well, it is with conflicting emotions I have decided to embark on a third round of submitting my manuscript to agents and editors. I'm conflicted because on one hand I have really enjoyed the self-publishing process, as arduous as it has been. On the other hand, having an agent or editor could really take my book to the next level.
I have learned a ton from the process of getting my own ISBN, registering my book on Amazon, promoting it with children, networking with teachers, hiring and managing a designer, working with a typesetter, etc. In many ways, I am looking forward to seeing the fruits of my own labor when the hardcover is produced. I imagine it has to be rewarding to see people react to my book, exactly as I want it to be, knowing I was engaged in every stage of the process.
Still, if there is one thing I have learned from self-publishing, it is that it's a lonely, expensive, up-hill battle to get people's attention. I think the Onyx Sun has had a positive response so far. Heck, just the GoodReads page alone makes me proud. But there's no denying an established agent or editor could scale my efforts to a level I may never be able to. That's the benefit of working within the industry, even if you have to give up a decent amount of control.
I'm probably getting a little ahead of myself. Just because I am submitting my manuscript to a new battery of people doesn't mean it will be accepted. I can always evaluate taking on an editor/agent if the opportunity presents itself. And honestly, if it doesn't, self-publishing has had enough of its own rewards to keep me pushing.